That the Parties to the RFAs consider whether more systematic, cost effective approaches could available to collect data on threatened species over time or in its absence, whether it would be valid to release appropriately qualified comparative data developed from existing sources.
Joint Government Response
Both Parties support the collection of data on threatened species on a systematic basis which provides comparative data over time on condition and trend outcomes as a component of the ESFM criteria and indicators.
The NSW Government, as part of the Review of NSW Forest Agreements and Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals (NSW Review) (also covered in Recommendation 2), reviewed the ESFM criteria and indicators. The evaluation of the ESFM criteria and indicators was based on practicability, measurability, cost effectiveness and ease of implementation at the regional level.
A recommendation from the NSW review was that a document, ESFM Criteria and Indicators for the Upper North East, Lower North East, Southern and Eden regions of NSW will be published which will provide detail on a revised suite of criteria and indicators and to consider potential data sources and investigate the potential to align ESFM monitoring with other monitoring processes.
This document is in preparation by the Environment Protection Authority and will be released as soon as practicable on the Environment Protection Authority.
Reviewers Recommendation 18
The NSW Government should explore accessing data on soil and water quality from all relevant Commonwealth, State and Local government agencies including community natural resource management volunteer groups, with a view to developing a more systematic and comprehensive approach to monitoring of these attributes in forest areas.
Joint Government Response
Both Parties agree that access to data from relevant Commonwealth, State and Local government agencies including community natural resource management volunteer groups may be beneficial in the monitoring of the ecologically sustainable forest management (ESFM) criteria and indicators adopted by the NSW Government.
The NSW Government, as part of the NSW Review (see Recommendation 2), has reviewed the ESFM criteria and indicators within the context of the NSW Forest Agreements and IFOAs. Consideration of sources outlined above as potential data sources and alignment of existing monitoring processes may occur as an outcome of this review.
As indicated in the response to Recommendation 17, this document is in preparation and will be released as soon as practicable.
The NSW and Australian Governments are undertaking the first review of the NSW Regional Forest Agreements for the Eden, North East and Southern regions. The review considers the performance of the Agreements and provides an assessment of progress of the Agreements against the established milestones.
The review will not open up the Agreement to re-negotiation.
The public are invited to make submissions on the Draft Report on Progress with Implementation of the New South Wales RFAs.
The report provides: background information on the agreements; an outline of the key changes impacting on the Agreements; a detailed consideration of progress against the milestones contained in the Agreements; and the results of monitoring of sustainability indicators.
Enquiries and Written Representations
A copy of the report or further information (including the documents under review) is available at http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/forestagreements/RFAreviews.htm
Written submissions on the Draft Report on Progress with Implementation of the New South Wales RFAs should be mailed to: the Resource and Conservation Unit, Department of Environment and Climate Change, PO Box A290, Sydney South, NSW, 1232 or emailed to email@example.com
Submissions must be received by no later than the 7 September 2009. All submissions should include your contact details and will be made publicly available unless otherwise requested.
Information supplied by NSW Government to Independent Assessor
The NSW Government has water-related programs in place to help protect NSW's rivers, beaches, wetlands, groundwater systems, estuaries and other marine environments and the plants and animals dependant on these habitats. NSW Government responsibilities for water management include water planning, licensing, allocations and extraction management under the NSW Water Management Act 2000. The Government also has responsibilities for environmental water planning and delivery, environmental water purchase, protection and management of wetlands and wild rivers, it purchases water for the benefit of targeted wetlands and river systems, and education of stakeholders and advocates for protection of these environments.